Helen Green

Chasing Statistics

As yet another survey hits the news, businesses could be forgiven if they started to suffer from statistic-fatigue. Admittedly this survey does have a direct relevance for businesses, reviewing as it does the online survey and feedback marketplace but it can be sometimes difficult to sort through the information which businesses need to know from that which is merely of passing interest.

When you add together all of the surveys and statistics which pour out of the ONS, other governmental organisations and private companies it is little wonder that some business leaders seek to follow the trend by demanding myriad internal surveys whilst others only review the headline figures for their business.

But when it comes to leadership the importance is less on what you know and more on how you use the information; less on measuring every last drop of the business and more about leveraging information to create growth and customer satisfaction. Yes leaders need to understand the business in order to model the way or to challenge existing practices, but understanding when business statistics can help and when they merely get in the way is an important skill for a leader to have.

Going back for a moment to the survey mentioned above, the competition and markets authority (CMA) revealed that more than half of UK adults use online reviews to help them to make purchase decisions. However, some organisations are following potentially misleading practices including posting fake views and the CMA is investigating these to see if enforcement action is warranted. Understanding regulations and ensuring that the organisation follows ethical practices is another key leadership trait and it is one which can make the difference between being a trusted organisation and one which faces an uncertain future.